Important Factors to Buying a Motorcycle Helmet

Many studies show that protective gear leaves victims of motorcycle crashes less severely injured. These numbers are especially obvious when we compare the cases where the rider was using a motorcycle helmet and how often not wearing one led to fatal accidents. Since it is arguably the most important piece of protective motorcycle gear, we should take extra care when we are looking for a good helmet. Here are the most critical factors of a high-quality motorcycle helmet.

What will you be Using the Helmet for?

There are several types of helmets, and which one we choose will leave us with a different experience and varying levels of protection. Before we can decide which kind of helmet we buy, we must determine what we will be using it for. The reason is simple: There are helmets that are shaped to work in different riding positions or for specific circumstances.

If you want to buy a helmet for racing, you will have to consider other factors than you would picking a helmet for regular road use. The best features of a helmet are different if the purpose is a long trip rather than daily commutes or a tour in the winter as opposed to the summer. The weight, protective qualities, air circulation and general shape are all elements that decide how well a particular helmet fits its intended use.

For example, if you ride in a forward leaning position like many racers do, an off-road or sports helmet is more likely to be shaped in a way where the helmet does not squish your neck or get caught and lifted in the airflow.

What is Your Budget Like?

Buying a good motorcycle helmet is not the time to be stingy. You get what you pay for. If you want a high-quality helmet with the best protection, you will have to pay the appropriate price. Sadly, when it comes to buying a motorcycle helmet, we do not get the chance to save money by buying used. Only when we buy new helmets can we know for sure how old and intact they are.

But even when your budget is small, buying any helmet is better than using none. Online shops help us find the best prices for good gear. As long as the helmet in question was tested and certified by an institution like the European Commission, you will get a helmet that has passed the required safety standards. 

The Construction of Your Helmet is Important

The shape and materials used in the helmet decide how effective it is. The more of your head it covers, like a full-face helmet, the better. Other than that, most helmets are built similarly. They are lined with several layers of foam and padding. It is not only designed to make the helmet fit snug and comfortably. The foam plays a huge part in lessening an impact’s effect on the head.

On top of it is the hard shell covering the helmet. It can be made from different materials which decide over the helmet’s price, weight, and efficiency of withstanding impacts.

●     Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate has the lowest protective abilities and price. However, it is still very efficient in absorbing force and redistributing it across its surface. The slight flexibility of the material catches the impact and directs it away from the head.

●     Fiberglass

Fiberglass is slightly more expensive and effective. Since it is less springy, it tends to crack on impact. This helps the material to effectively dispel the force and reduce the risk of injury. Fiberglass is also famous for being very lightweight.

●     Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber gives us the best protection, but also costs the most. If you can, try to find a carbon fiber shell helmet, since it is the most efficient option. Like the other materials, it catches and redistributes an impact force away from the brain.

Looking at the Ratings

Ratings and tests are a great way to find good helmets. Next to the safety standard tests by official institutions, which will give their certificates to the best helmets, you can also count on other riders’ experiences and reviews. They won’t just tell you about the protective abilities of a helmet, but also mention other qualities that make a helmet great and comfortable to use.

Choose a Helmet That Fits

Naturally, motorcycles aren’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. Since the helmet must fit both comfortably but tight, the right model and size differs for every human and their unique head shape.

For example, motorcycle gear for women is often marked specifically, because they need the right gear to fit their often-smaller physique or general body shape. If you are buying online, using a measuring tape and the website’s sizing guides will direct you to the right size. In a shop, you can try out different helmets and get the vendor’s expert opinion.


A motorcycle helmet must be the right model and size for both the wearer’s head, but also the intended use. Riders who want to race will be looking at other types than the ones who like to cruise. Additionally, the material and price of a helmet dictate how effective it is at reducing injuries. Make sure to get the best option possible.

The certificates of organizations, like the Snell Foundation or the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme that test the safety standards of motorcycle helmets, will lead you to great products. If you have figured out which helmet type is the right one for you, make sure to try it on and determine if it fits correctly, and try something else if it doesn’t.

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